Trace McSorley has Penn State seeing roses
Although the Rose Bowl is not part of this season’s College Football Playoff, it is still considered the “Granddaddy of Them All” with its own parade and fanfare. When it airs Monday on ESPN it will feature a classic Big Ten/Pac-12 matchup in the form of the Penn State Nittany Lions and the University of Southern California (USC) Trojans.
Penn State’s return to prominence is one of the big stories of the 2016-17 college football season and they’ve done it on the arm of quarterback Trace McSorley. The Nittany Lions had an amazing season, particularly the second half which saw them vault from an unranked team to place among the Top 5; coming up short for CFP after McSorley led them to a Big Ten championship.
A redshirt sophomore, McSorley won the starting job after the departure of Christian Hackenberg. He played respectably in a 24-17 loss to Georgia in last season’s TaxSlayer Bowl; nearly bringing Penn State back after a Hackenberg injury. As this season went on, he continued to develop, and the Lions entered the Top 25 after an upset win in October over No. 2 Ohio State.
With that victory the stage was set for Penn State to partially control their own destiny. They ran the table down the stretch with McSorley putting up big numbers at times, including a comeback win over Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship game, earning them that No. 5 ranking entering the Rose Bowl. Only the Trojans stand in their way of possibly climbing higher in the final rankings of the season.
Richard Thomas “Trace” McSorley III
Born: August 23, 1995
Birthplace: Ashburn, Virginia
Height/Weight: 6 foot/205 pounds
Team: Penn State Nittany Lions
Class: Redshirt Sophomore
Honors and Achievements: Big Ten Champion, 2016; Big Ten Championship game MVP, 2016